A few weeks ago, I read that Sam McBratney had passed on September 18, 2020. When I told a coworker of mine, she said, “2020 really does suck.” But at least we still have his and Anita Jeram’s last book together, Will You Be My Friend?
While an adorable book, it is not “up to” the prequel, Guess How Much I Love You. That book was one in a million. It had not been really seen before. The parent is a dad bunny. The idea a dad can love a child to the moon and back was more of a “mom” thing, so how revolutionary. With that said, I really cannot wait to recommend this book to people. The classic art is there, so that sooths any perceived “issues” and the fact we lost McBratney. It is happy, familiar and just comfortable. This time Little Nut Brown Hare is in search of an adventure and friend. Their journey takes them to a place where a friend is found, played with and the ending gives an opening for the reader to tell their own stories of these two new friends.
Because of the number of books, I have located that have friendship in them, I decided I would add a review to the above one. The Bear and the Moon by Matthew Burgess has been promoted by the publisher for awhile now. When that happens, I try not to read too much about it so it will not spoil my “first impression.” I was hoping that it would be strong but had few other opinions.
Catia Chien’s illustrations are what made this cute book about a bear and his special, but unusual, friend strong. Bear finds a red ball from the moon and proceeds to play with it. Of course, the reader realizes it is a balloon and the end might not be exactly completely happy. It is best for a younger crowd, but one that will sit and listen to a story as there is little traditional action. While the story was 55/45 for me, the art was 90/10. Basic, simplistic (but not negatively, just not in the usual preferred manner as it has little color, except where important or a lot of details given) it is rich and its own story.
Either of these books would be good for giving to a young friend you have or to your child’s friend from them. Bear would also be right at home in a preschool classroom and Friend in a classroom up to about first grade.